European stocks hit mid-June low on report France mulling national lockdown

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European stocks hit their lowest level since mid-June on Wednesday following a report France was mulling a month-long national lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX fell 1.6% by 0808 GMT, while Germany’s DAX .GDAXI tumbled 2.2%, UK’s FTSE 100 .FTSE dropped 1.5% and France’s CAC 40 .FCHI plunged 2.5%.

The French government has been exploring a new, national lockdown from midnight on Thursday, BFM TV reported, albeit a slightly more flexible one than the two-month shutdown that began in mid-March.

President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address later in the evening, his office said.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to close all restaurants and bars from Nov. 4 according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters, while the Telegraph newspaper reported British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure for a new lockdown.

Economically sensitive sectors such as automakers .SXAP, banks .SX7P and insurers .SXIP led early declines, falling between 2.5% and 3%.

Deutsche Bank AG DBKGn.DE fell 3.6%, even as it reported a surprise swing into quarterly net profit and upgraded the revenue outlook for its investment bank.

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